Siem Reap, Cambodia (2016)

A Message from Keola Beamer: Bring the Gift of Music to Cambodian Children

Cambodia Ukulele Project

In 2016, the Beamer ‘ohana brought ukuleles and hands-on music and dance instruction
to impoverished children in rural Cambodia.  In cooperation with Mohala Hou
Foundation in Hawaii and The Ponheary Ly Foundation in Cambodia, and with quality
‘ukulele generously donated by Kanile’a ‘Ukulele (Kanile’a ‘Ukulele | Hawaiian Made Ukuleles |
Handmade Ukuleles (, this outreach program provided musical
instruments, instructional materials, and presented a series of music and dance lessons
for 41 Cambodian children.   
In Cambodia, children in rural villages face an uphill battle against poverty and limited
access to education when compared to children in urban areas.  Many impoverished
children in rural Cambodia don’t have access to money to buy uniforms and their school
supplies in order to attend primary school.   The Ponheary Ly Foundation (PLF)
provides children who would not otherwise be attending school with these essentials.
 Once all the children from a village are present at their school and properly equipped,
the PLF supports the school sufficiently to provide a quality of education that is equal to
that which is accessible in the urban communities.
Mohala Hou Foundation (MHF) is a non-profit organization that presents Aloha Music
Camp (AMC) and other educational and cultural programs to foster understanding and
perpetuation of Hawaiian culture.  Through AMC, the Beamer ‘ohana and other
Hawaiian Kumu (teachers) have provided teaching and cultural context in ukulele, guitar
hula, olelo (language), oli (chant), and traditional Hawaiian crafts to thousands of
participants of all ages over the years.  The expertise of MHF in developing and
presenting cultural enrichment programs ensures the Cambodian children will receive
the highest quality of instruction that is responsive to their needs and interests.
Our goal was to provide Cambodian kids with a way to enrich their lives and
communities through the power of music and dance. Children will learn to better
understand the essential connection of music and dance in other cultures, then begin to
assimilate these ideas and instruments into their own culture. To begin this process, our
instructors taught the children Cambodian songs in their own language. By learning to
play their own songs on their own instruments, then taking these instruments home to

their villages, the warmth, joy and “aloha” of music began to spread and uplift the lives
and hearts of their extended families.